May 15, 2004 Subject:
Classic 1950's Railroad Film
Most of this film is typical of AAR-produced films touting the importance of railroads in the US. economy. Yes, the narration is overheated and America seems just too powerful and good to be true.
But railfans will delight in many shots of classic first-generation diesels and streamliners.
Most of the great shots are run-by's, and they're only a few seconds long. Still, they're delightful - among the gems:
-2 shots of NYC E-8's in Lightning Stripe livery on fast passenger trains.
-3 shots of GN F's on the Empire Builder
-Rio Grande F's in freight service.
-2 shots of PRR Baldwin Sharknoses in freight services.
-2 shots of Santa Fe FT's in freight service.
-Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station
-The ill-fated GM Aerotrain
-Rock Island E's in freight and passenger service.
-L&N E-unit (being cleaned)
-UP E-unit (seen from pacing trackcar ahead)
-SP "Black Widow " F-units
-Geeps and Alcos in SF frieght service
-A military train with Patton tanks on flatcars.
-Katy Alco PA's
-SF "Warbonnet F's.
-NYC E-units in freight service
I only saw one lonely steam locomotive in this film - it shows up in the sequence covering automated yard operations. But this is to be expected, given how AAR was trying to promote the industry's forward-looking image, plus the fact that US steam was a real rarity in 1957, when this film was made.
October 31, 2003 Subject:
Are you mainlining?
not bad exploration about the age old topic (at least in the 50's and 60's) of What Makes Our Railroads So Great. There's nothing that you've REALLY havent seen before. A brief history of trains, modern advancements in passenger trains, what kind of goods trains carry and so on. At least it's somewhat short and to the point.
November 13, 2002 Subject:
This 50s film presents all the advantages of the modern American railroad system. And I do mean all. Breathless narration goes on and on about how great the railroads are. They just provide everything that is good and right with this country, all right?? At least until the next decade. Seriously, railroad buffs will probably enjoy this film as it has trains and train paraphenalia a-plenty.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***. Also available on Lifestyles USA, Vol. 2.